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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.

Big Tree Registry

University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup, claims you could have an Illinois champion tree in your back yard. University of Illinois maintains the Illinois Big Tree Registry to track the largest native woody specimens across the state. With forests and gardens full of prized Illinois natives like black walnut, red maple, paper birch, American hophornbeam, eastern red bu...

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Allsup in Woodford County
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Holiday Decor Wrap-Up

Who collects 880 canned goods for local food pantries, leaves glitter and evergreen needles in their wake and creates masterful holiday décor pieces? The local University of Illinois Horticulture program team does. University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup, and Program Coordinator, Brittnay Haag along with the help of the infamous Master Gardener elves provided a Holiday Décor...

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MN Birds
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Master Naturalist Training Class 2013

19 brand new interns have been added to the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists Program serving Livingston, McLean and Woodford Counties. The volunteer group (a.k.a. Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists) started in 2010 to fulfill extension's mission of connecting the environmental educational resources of University of Illinois to all citizens. Volunteers receive education...

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Pinching Conifer Candles
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Pruning Series Part 4: Evergreens

Most evergreens need minimal pruning if planted in the right place and good health management is employed. However the benefits of pruning evergreens can be making a denser and fuller plant and limit the size. Like deciduous trees large limbs from evergreens should be removed during the dormant season. If you have broken, diseased or dead branches prune them out any time during the year....

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University of Kentucky thinnning
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Pruning Series Part 3: Flowering and Formal Shrubs

Proper pruning of flowering shrubs and formal shrubs can not only increase the number of flowers but create a tidier. It is important to identify the shrub and know the timing of flowering before any pruning or shearing takes place. Early flowering shrubs (flower before June 15) should be pruned after flowers fade and late flowering shrubs can be pruned in early spring when green growth starts...

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tree pruning diagram
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Pruning Series Part 2: Deciduous Trees

Pruning of newly planted and established trees can be an easy practice for informed gardeners. Pruning of landscape trees is done to improve structure, aesthetic value of the tree and benefits overall plant health. As discussed, February and March are the most ideal part of the year to prune deciduous trees. Tree pruning basics -Never top trees. Topping of trees which is commonl...

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ISU Hort Center Winter

Pruning Series Part 1: Timing and Tools

Pruning of trees and shrubs can be an easy practice for informed gardeners. Pruning should be done at the appropriate time of year with the right tools and have a purpose. Most pruning of landscape trees is done to improve structure, safety and aesthetic value of the tree. The proper pruning practice can increase floral displays or fruit load, prevent breakage and ultimately lengthen the life o...

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frosted lettuce
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Growing Vegetables all Winter

Posted by Bill Davison -

Extending The Growing Season With Cold Hardy Vegetable Varieties and Low Tunnels in McLean County, Illinois A lot of research has been done on season extension for market farmers, but there is little data available from central Illinois farms. Low tunnels offer a very flexible low cost way to provide a protected growing environment to crops. These structures can extend...

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